From the day of his birth, Opardin had been marked by spirits. His ashen skin and the first sprouts of twisting horns caused a great deal of commotion amid the clansmen, but the wise woman who served the chieftain saw something beyond the infant’s strange appearance. She believed that Hulderkall – the mythical forest spirits of the Norr homeland – bestowed their blessings on the child. For it was their blood that flowed in Opardin’s veins; their strength and cunning would be his birthright. Though some remained wary, the clansmen bowed before the witch’s knowledge and let the boy live.
Opardin grew up and matured under the watchful gaze of the chieftain and his warriors. He had proven himself both strong and brave in that time, yet the prophesied wisdom was not as swift to manifest – the young warrior was a braggart beyond equal who cared only about fame. Wisdom came later and at a terrible price.
Once upon a bloody dawn, a raiding party of Orcs fell upon the village. Opardin was among the first to join the fray, but his thoughts were on proving his might rather than on protecting his kin. Like a raging bull, he smashed into the attackers. None of them could match his prowess, but Opardin was still one man against a score of brutal foes. Alone, he was delayed and could not aid his friends and kin while they were overwhelmed all around him.
In the end, the Norr prevailed at great cost. Many were slain, and Opardin too returned to find his mother amid the bodies of the dead. Heartbroken by the realization that his own selfishness and lust for glory were to blame, he left the clan and went into a self-imposed exile. For many years his fate remained unknown. Many even believed he had taken his life, unable to bear the shame. But they were wrong – Opardin returned almost a decade later, matured by the journey and the lessons he had learned in distant lands.
It took many moons to win the trust of his kindred once more, but Opardin never backed down from a challenge. He was confident in his abilities, yet humble and respectful to his elders, and his hard-won wisdom shined in times of great peril. First, Opardin regained his clan’s trust. Then, he rose through the ranks to become the chieftain’s right hand. When the old warrior finally drew his last breath and departed the mortal world, few were surprised to see Opardin inherit the mantle.
His pride tempered by reason, Opardin knew that he was no noble of the ‘civilized’ kingdoms, where one’s birth alone entitled them to wealth and respect. He knew the price of failure and hubris and ever strove to uphold the virtues of the Norr. Soon, Opardin became known as the Clanfather, to whom all could turn for guidance. And never did the clan know a worthier ruler.
Some even maintain Opardin did not waste away as mortals do but instead ascended to join the Ancestors’ sacred host, to do eternal battle against evil that threatens the world. Whether there is any truth to those stories, few can tell.